• Wed. May 29th, 2024

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Teesside business calls for immediate extension of “ping” exemptions

Martin Anderson, the chief executive of Stockton-based Lemon Business Solutions, has today challenged the government to support all key sectors as they battle to provide essential services.

The government has announced a list of 16 sectors from which double-vaccinated employees “pinged” by Test and Trace may be exempt from isolation, subject to negative daily tests. The list was announced after more than 600,000 people were asked to self-isolate in the last seven days and includes the energy, civil nuclear, food production and supply sectors alongside emergency services

Martin Anderson, whose business currently has a number of its contact centre agents isolating, has warned that the list does not go nearly far enough and could lead to significant disruption in a range of other vital areas.

He said, “The government has rightly recognised that, as we see a huge spike in coronavirus cases, the number of people being taken out of the workforce and asked to self-isolate is unsustainable. The effects on some key areas like supermarkets have already been well-documented, but without further intervention, there’s a real risk for service provision in a vast range of other vital sectors.

“At Lemon Business Solutions, we provide business process outsourcing to a range of businesses and industries for whom unprecedented staff absence could have catastrophic fallout. The funeral sector, as well as facilities maintenance, are two notable examples.

“Insufficient manpower in the funeral sector could leave grieving families in limbo. While a shortage of lift engineers could even lead to people being trapped in broken-down elevators for protracted periods.

“At Lemon, we’re fortunate that our colleagues can work remotely, but this isn’t the case for many of our clients whose business disruption could have significant repercussions for the wider community.

“The government needs to act urgently to ensure that this so-called ‘pingdemic’ doesn’t lead to irreparable damage.”

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